Friday, August 1, 2008

Fed Up

I just caught, on MSNBC, another prominent politician once again bashing American teachers. The argument seems to be that, if teachers worked hard enough, all problems in our schools would be solved. What absolute balderdash!

Why do we just silently let these across-the-board statements of disrespect go unchallenged?

I'm so weary of this. Attacking workers instead of the cultural problems that have developed due to disparity of income and wealth . . . and the encouragement of the lowest common denominator in our mass media . . . in the most powerful nation in the world is downright dishonest. This scapegoat mentality does nothing to improve education. I would argue, instead, that our culture has become coarser because of the lack of ethical concern and behavior of the ruling class.

Public school teachers work within a system pretty much dictated by national and state law. The idea that school unions have some incredible power is, in my mind, ludicrous. Teachers do the best they can within the parameters of their environment. The teachers I know work hard . . . in many cases, even to the detriment of their own personal lives.

Reconfiguring the curriculum boxes and measuring student progress as if students were merely widgets in the economy is not the answer. A variety of causes have created an underclass that has lost hope for a better future and sees no good reason to work at something that will unlikely make a difference in their lives.

Want better scores? Eliminate student apathy!

Essential Question: How do we eliminate student apathy?

Photo Credit

U.S. Presidential Election

Richard Byrne's blog, Free Technology for Teachers, brought my attention to this new Common Craft video about the Presidential electoral process.

Essential Question: How do we inform and engage our students in a non-partisan manner?

Presidential Election Information
Wikipedia: United States Presidential Election, 2008
History Central: United States Presidential Elections

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Online Highlighters

I've been investigating online highlighters for the purpose of teaching summarization stategies. Though Diigo and iLighter are more sophisticated, I'm leaning towards Awesome Highlighter which can be used without a plug-in download and is straightforward and user-friendly in operation.

Try Awesome Highlighter out here.

What has your experience been?

Frog & Toad

Indeed . . . waking up needs to be high on the list, but not only waking up, but waking up with enthusiasm for a new day and the ability to forgive. So much wisdom from these small amphibians.

Amazon: Treasury of Frog and Toad

Guided Reading with Frog and Toad

The Educator's Reference Desk: Resource Guides - Frog and Toad

SCORE CyberGuide: Frog & Toad are Friends - Teacher Guide

Guided Reading with Frog and Toad

Frogs and Toads at Enchanted Learning

Frogs and Toads at 42eXplore

Frog and Toads Theme at AtoZTeacherStuff

Mrs. Elliott's Second Grade: Frog, Toad & Friendship

Frog and Toad Internet Friendship Project

Frog and Toad Theme

WDL Episode 29 "Don't Mean to Brag . . . But . . . ."

****WDL Podcast Link

More Information

Fish Bowl Strategy Search

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